Check-In 2017: Doin’ real good so far.

So far so great on the getting back on track for the new year. I had every intention of writing a post yesterday to get back in the habit of posting weekly. I didn’t even realized I’d missed my self-imposed deadline until this morning. Whoops.

So let’s give this another shot.

What I’m working on: It took a few hours spread over a couple days, but I finally got my design elements collection mostly sorted out. I have tons of texture images, clip art, brushes and fonts that needed labeling and put somewhere that I could actually find them and use them. It was some extensive digital organization. (And one of the few times I miss having a Mac at home. I feel so much more comfortable with the way OSX’s file trees work. Oh well.) I haven’t started on Valentine’s stuff yet. I’m hoping to do that this weekend (even though we’ve got a lot going on). I’m almost wondering if I should just skip ahead to St. Patrick’s Day, springtime and Easter. But I guarantee I’ll be in the same boat this time next year, Re: Valentine’s Day.

I’m considering setting up a Google calendar with my shop email address so I can set alerts for things months in advance. My current bullet journal setup is good for a month at a time, but not for months and months ahead of time. I’m also thinking of switching from bullet journalling to a more traditional planner set up once I fill up my current notebook. Which might be this coming December, so hey. That’s convenient.

What I’m playing: Here’s why I forgot to do anything productive last night — after spending a week watching the husband person play, I finally started my own game of Final Fantasy XV. I haven’t gotten very far, mostly just the tutorials and the opening story stuff. But I’m very much looking forward to it. Hopefully that Florence + The Machine cover of “Stand By Me” makes another appearance. (It probably will. And I’ll cry harder than I did at at the end of FFX.)

What I’m reading: I went to the library and picked up The Dressmaker, our new book club book and the second volume of The Complete Chi’s Sweet Home. Chi is set to become my favorite character in anything ever.

And that’s that. Here’s hoping I’m more on the ball next week.



Check-In: September 1

What I’m working on: I actually took this week off from the day job. We didn’t go anywhere because the husband person is still working. But, I had the vacation time and needed a break. Breaks are good for your brain. I’ve deep cleaned the house, got a lot of Konmari-ing done (more on that later) and finished a bunch of random household projects.


I upgraded to a bigger sewing box — thanks to a hand-me-down from my mom (and some help from my lovely assistant). That little white box was basically just filled with loose needles. And I don’t even do much sewing beyond mending clothes and hemming my pants.

I don’t go back to work until Tuesday, so I’ve got a little more time to work on some stuff for the shop, do some craftiness and maybe just soak my feet and relax a little bit.

What I’m watching: I’m actually watching — at this very moment — The Chris Gethard Show. My brother-in-law got me watching. It’s loosely controlled chaos and so many good comedy people are on it.

What I’m reading: I’m just about done with How to Build a Girl. It’s pretty good. I really identify with a teenage girl trying to reinvent herself into someone cooler and smarter and much more interesting. (I imagine everyone who’s ever been a teenage girl can identify with that.)

KonMari Step 3: Part 1 of 58

So, step 3 of KonMari seems like a misnomer because it’s actually about a dozen small categories. And yet… it took me so long to get to it. The first part is CDs and DVDs. I started with CDs and basically just put everything in my iTunes and only kept physical copies of my favorite artists. Some of them are signed. I went through all of those a month or so ago, and lost my before/after photos. But here’s my current CD collection in its entirety:


I still have half a CD binder full of jewel-case-less discs, though. Somewhere I know I’ve got a box of cd cases, but I can’t find it anywhere. We’ve looked in every box in the garage and the closets. I’m wondering if they’re at my parents’ house still.

Next was DVDs, which were easy. I’m not really one for buying DVDs in the first place. My husband even joined in and tossed some of his.

Here’s the keepers:


And the go-ers:


A lot of these are movies I really enjoyed, but will probably never watch on DVD again. I very, very rarely sit through a movie. And once is usually enough. And now with streaming, I’m even less likely to go looking for a DVD.

Sorting DVDs was a tiny portion of my Sunday. It wasn’t much, but it did make me feel productive, which I needed at the time. Who would have thought a fifteen-minute “throw it all away” session would be such a pick-me-up?

Next up: Toiletries, make-up and skin/hair products!




Check-In: August 4

Well, I thought it’d been a couple of weeks since I last posted. Turns out it’s been nearly a month. July’s always a  little crazy for me. One of my day job’s biggest projects of the year hits its crescendo in mid-July, which means I spend a little over a week stressing and working overtime.

This year, I followed that up with a week of being sick. Nothing serious — but stress, extreme comfort eating and probably too much naproxen sodium aren’t great for the guts. One prescription for Nexium later and I’m doing just fine. I’m eating better, meditating again and just doing a better job of keeping on track. I even bought a new notebook to restart my bullet journal. Let’s do this!

What I’m working on: I jumped back in with something simple for the shop — some rustic ticking-style stripes.


I’m working on a new “product line.” I’m hoping to be able to launch a whole group of new printable products before the end of the month. It’s a little bit of an experiment, so we’ll see what happens. (I’m not telling what it is yet.)

What I’m reading: I’ve gotten just as behind on my reading as everything else, but I have started both Valley of the Dolls and Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay. Both really good books that are just a tooooooouch depressing. I might have to throw something fun in the mix.

What I’m playing: C’mon. You know what I’m playing.


I caught a Ponyta in the Walgreens.

A day in the life.

Let’s talk time management. Or lack thereof. I’ve got a real problem with coming up with more ideas that I can start and starting more projects than I can finish.

Here’s what my typical weekday looks like:

11 p.m.-4 a.m.: Sleep.

4 a.m.: Get up and pee. (I’m very hydrated.)

4:05-5:30 a.m.: Sleep.

5:30-6:45 a.m.: This is a mysterious hour. I have access to it. I could exercise during it. I could meditate. I could have a quiet cup of coffee on the couch and watch the sun’s first rays filtering in through the trees. But, it’s also the hour my bed is at its most comfortable. So. You know. Sleep.

6:00-6:45 a.m.: Hit snooze over and over and over.

6:45-7:30 a.m.: Get up, shower, put just enough makeup on to make myself look awake, get dressed, have breakfast, run out the door.

7:30-8 a.m.: Commute to work. Prime podcast time.

8-11:30 a.m.: Work.

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: I’m lucky enough to get a whole hour for my lunch break. I usually eat and read, then do a 15-20 minute meditation in the car and sometimes run an errand or two.

12:30-5 p.m.: Work.

5-5:30 p.m.: Commute home.

5:30-6:30 p.m.: If the husband’s home, we have dinner and watch a little TV. If he’s working, I’ll exercise and then have a frozen dinner or something.

6:30-7 p.m.: Clean up from dinner. Have a cup of coffee and catch up on email, make to-do lists for the next day, etc.

7-10 p.m.: So here’s the three hours I usually have to work with. This is the window where I can work on things for the shop, blog stuff, social media “marketing,” and video games. (I will admit… there are weeks when this is just video games. But there are also weeks when it’s just work. And I’ll get burned out and have to spend the next week in Stardew Valley to even myself out.)

10-11 p.m.: Brush my teeth, read for a while, go to sleep.

You’ll notice that I don’t have any time for craft projects. Those might get worked in on the weekends. And that’s one of the big things I’d really like to have more time for. I’ve stalled out on KonMari-ing the house because I’m reluctant to spend the time going through my CDs and DVDs. I want to do more experimenting in Illustrator, maybe go through a bunch of tutorials for techniques I never/rarely use. I want to draw more. The husband and I would like to have time to just maybe… go do something? But his schedule is just as crazy. We’re doing good to get one day a week where neither of us are working.

My weekends are more open, schedule-wise, but that’s also the time we see our family and friends and I’m not going give that up. It’s also our time for necessities like grocery shopping and laundry and other chores. So… what do I do? How do I create more time?

Maybe it’s not that I need more time. I just need to use it more wisely. Perhaps putting that mystery hour to use? (Let’s not get crazy.) I started bullet journaling at the end of last year, and that’s helped a little.

I’d also like to improve my handwriting. There’s another thing I should take time for.

It’s at least helped me prioritize the things I’d like to get done first. I’m hoping by continuing to meditate, I’ll be a little less prone to distraction. Maybe I need to start looking into how extremely productive people get stuff done. Maybe I shouldn’t have rushed through this blog post in an effort to get to the next thing — at least that way I would have a better thesis and a more satisfying conclusion. Right now I’m kind of just stream-of-conciousnessing it.



The end.



KonMari Step 1: Take my sock drawer… please!

So, you’ve read “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” and you’re ready to start working some life-changing magic in your own home. Here’s some quick and easy steps to get you started.

  1. Make your bed so that when you empty your closet and start piling stuff on it, it will look nice for the photos you take for your blog.
  2. Realize that you don’t have ANY trash bags in the house. Run to the store.
  3. Get back and realize it’s basically lunch time and take an hour long break.
  4. Start three hours later than you originally intended.

Despite a a few hiccups at the beginng, I managed to get all my clothes KonMari-ed this past Sunday.

My walk-in closet before the KonMari method.
The closet… before!

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